If finding that proverbial bliss is behind your motivation to get married, you might just change your mind after you hear what former NFL player and senior pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, Calif., Miles McPherson, has to say about it.
"Marriage is not there to make you happy," McPherson told a sea of students who had gathered to hear him speak at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., last week. "Marriage is there to make you holy. As a matter of fact, don't marry someone because they are 'going to make you happy'. That's the wrong motivation."
His compelling presentation, made at North America's largest weekly gathering of Christian students billed Convocation, focused on the concept of giving. He encouraged the students to focus less on what they can get in relationships and more on what they can give.
It's a concept, he said, that God had to teach him when he discovered how different he and his wife were soon after the honeymoon period had passed in their marriage.
"You realize that the only way the relationship is going to work is if you deny yourself. You have to give. Your marriage will never work if you are a taker," said McPherson, who has been married to his wife, Debbie, for 29 years. "It's a compromise; we both have to give, why? Because God wants to make us holy and the only way to be holy is to let go."
He pointed out that a taker is someone who acquires things on their own terms while receivers acquired things on the terms of the giver. To worship God, he explained, you must be in a position to give. "One of the reasons we never experience all the fullness of the blessings of God and all the love of God is because we are takers. It's all about me," he explained. "We come to church, we come to Convocation. I want my seat, I want my song, I want my favorite speaker…It ain't about you," he told the students. "It never is!"
McPherson, who has authored several books including Do Something! Make Your Life Count (2010), is set to release his latest book, God in the Mirror: Discovering Who You Were Created To Be, on March 1, 2013. In this book, he encourages readers to think less of themselves and more about God's plan for their life.
Liberty University's Convocation gathers influential speakers from every walk of life. In recent years, Liberty students have heard from Hollywood legends, Fortune 500 CEOs, professional athletes, presidential candidates, public intellectuals, barons of business, and influential Christian missionaries, pastors and authors.
Recent Convocation guest speakers have included the Southern Baptist Convention's first black president Fred Luter, business mogul Donald Trump, ministers Francis Chan and Eric Mason and many others. This year's speaker list boasts names such as Lecrae, Tim Tebow, Mike Huckabee, Franklin Graham, James Brown and Judah Smith.